Flyers, Payton stun Dragons
Every player or team faces a defining moment. The St. Joseph Flyers can define this moment in one word: hustle.
The Flyers used hustle to battle and scrap their way to a 71-63 upset of the Fairland Dragons Saturday in the Ironton Classic.
“We stress (hustle) all the time that. You might not shoot well, you might have an off-night, but you can always hustle. There’s no excuse not to hustle. They know that’s my biggest pet peeve,” said Flyers’ coach Jeremy Williams.
Leading the Pete Rose play-alike contest was senior Joseph Payton who had 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists. But none of his steals were as big as the one with five minutes left to play.
Fairland’s Thayer Flynn came up with a steal but Payton took the ball right back in a nan-second and went in for a layup that put the Flyers ahead 58-45. He also hit a 12-foot runner just before the end of the first quarter that put St. Joseph up 15-12.
“We’ve lost a few games straight and we’re just getting tired of losing and we know what we’re capable of and we just went out and executed and won the game,” said Payton.
“We’ve had some success breaking presses all through the year. Our main thing was finishing around the basket. Once we started breaking their press we know we’d be able to do that the rest of the game. It’s just confidence.”
Williams said Payton’s steal in the fourth quarter was the biggest among all the big plays in the game for the Flyers.
“When that moment comes in a game when you need to make a big play and we made it tonight. Those were huge. That’s a senior for you. He’s been through it. That’s the difference for us. We haven’t had someone do it and we did that tonight,” said Williams.
The Flyers did out-hustled the Dragons, but they also took advantage of a Fairland lineup that was missing two starters. Chance Short was out due to a concussion and Nathan Campbell missed because of a death in the family.
Fairland (5-2) shot just 20-of-62 from the field for 32 percent. Evan Maddox had 25 points including 18 in the fourth quarter.
Fairland led 3-0 to start the game only to have the Flyers get a 3-point play by Chris Lewis and a layup by Wulf Goheen.
The Flyers then held the lead until Maddox came up with a steal and threw to Flynn for a layup to put the Dragons ahead 20-19 with 5:56 left in the half.
An 18-footer by Luke Phillips tied the game at the half 30-30, but Hunter Pemberton drained a 3-pointer to start the second half and ignited an 8-0 run that gave St. Joseph the lead for good.
Trey Young converted a 3-point play with 59 seconds on the clock as St. Joseph took its biggest lead at 50-33.
Maddox hit a 3-pointer to end the third quarter and it was 50-36. He continued his scoring into the fourth quarter and the Dragons began to foul in an effort to get back in the game.
The strategy worked to a point as the Flyers connected on just 14-of-25 free throw attempts. But two free throws by Kyle Williams with 24 seconds left gave the Flyers a 70-61 lead and virtually sealed the outcome.
Coach Williams said the Flyers ability to not get rattled against Fairland’s press was paramount.
“We tell them don’t let one mistake become two. You give up a layup on one end it’s only two points. It’s not like football. If you give up a touchdown it’s six points. We just brushed off any mistakes and kept going,” said Williams.
Troy Scott had a big game for the Flyers with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Lewis finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds.
Phillips scored 14 and Jacob Warner 13 for the Dragons. Tyler Campbell had 8 rebounds.
St. Joseph 15 15 20 21 = 71
Fairland 12 18 6 27 = 63
ST. JOSEPH (4-4): Hunter Pemberton 0 2 2-2 8, Wulf Goheen 2 0 3-5 7, Chris Lewis 4 0 4-6 12, Troy Scott 7 1 2-7 19, Joseph Payton 6 0 3-4 15, Kyle Williams 1 0 5-10 7, Trey Young 1 0 0-0 2, Zach McGraw 0 0 1-3 1. Totals: 23-45 20-37 71. 3-point goals: 3-14. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Pemberton (4th 0:20). Rebounds: 5-OR, 34-DR = 39 (Lewis 8, Scott 6, Payton 5, Pemberton 5, Goheen 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 11 (Goheen 4, Williams 3). Steals: 10 (Payton 4, Scott 4). Turnovers: 17.
FAIRLAND (5-2): Thayer Flynn 1` 0 2-3 4, Jacob Warner 2 1 6-6 13, Luke Phillips 5 1 1-5 14, Evan Maddox 4 4 8-11 25, Tyler Campbell 1 0 0-0 2, Robert Thompson 1 0 0-0 2, Philip Beaty 0 0 0-0 0, Trent Wilcoxon 0 0 0-0 0, Bailey Manns 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-62 17-25 63. 3-point goals: 6-22. Fouls: 29. Fouled out: Flynn (4th 1:47), Campbell (4th 0:24), Warner (4th 0:06). Rebounds: 12-OR, 27-DT = 39 (Campbell 8, Thomson 5, Maddox 5, Phillips 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 3. Steals: 10 (Phillips 3, Campbell 2). Turnovers: 16.